Official Controls Qualification
(Veterinary) OCQ(V)


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Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on a question below to be taken to the corresponding answer. Alternatively, you can type your question or a key term into the box that appears when you click on the blue 'Help' button at the bottom right of the screen.

For questions specifically related to revalidation, please click here.


Do I have to be a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) to complete the OCQ(V) courses?

I am about to graduate or have just graduated. Can I complete these qualifications before I join a practice?

Will I need to book time away from work to attend the OV training as previously?

Do I need to do anything differently if I work as a locum?

I want to become a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI), what do I do?

I can’t log in to the courses. Please can you help?

The practice email address is shared and doesn't work for my registration – what do I do?

How do I change my details on my registration?

I am having trouble uploading my signature.

Who do I contact to find out about filling in APHA forms?

I am a small animal vet and I only want to do Animal Health Certificates (AHCs) for dogs or cats, how do I become an OV?

What is covered in OCQ(V) - CA?

What is covered in OCQ(V) - SX?

What is covered in OCQ(V) - AX?

What is covered in OCQ(V) - PX?

I want to train to test cattle for TB. How soon can I start testing on my own?

I am a conditional OV for OCQ(V) - TT and am testing under direction. An APHA vet audited my testing last week. Does that count as my Practical Assessment?

I need to arrange my OCQ(V) - TT Practical Assessment – what is the minimum number of cattle I will need to test during this?

How do I nominate an invigilator for my exam?

I have nominated an invigilator but there has been a change of plan and they are no longer available. Can I nominate someone else?

I have enrolled on a course but not had time to complete it. Is there a time limit for access to the material?

Where do I find information about revalidation?

Will the content of the courses change in light of EU Exit?

I am interested in completing a PgC in State Veterinary Medicine. How do I go about this?

I work in Scotland and have heard that the Scottish Government will pay for my training for Essential Skills, Tuberculin Testing and Statutory Surveillance. Who do I contact to arrange this?

Are the OCQ(V)s recognised in Northern Ireland?

I work in an abattoir. Are these OV qualifications relevant to me?

I have been asked to certify the effective disinfection of a fishing rod (or another inanimate object) that is going to Iceland. What qualifications do I need to complete this document?

My OV stamp is damaged or lost. How may I get a replacement?

I do not intend to continue with OV work. What should I do with my stamp?

Where do I find AHC guidance/an example AHC?


Do I have to be a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) to complete the OCQ(V) courses?

No, anyone can take the qualifications but in order to apply to be an OV you must be a member.

(Please note: to complete the Practical Assessment of OCQ(V) - TT you will need to be an MRCVS and be working in a practice in England, Scotland or Wales where your duties include TB testing.)

I am about to graduate or have just graduated. Can I complete these qualifications before I join a practice?

Yes, you can start studying now, but when you register do not apply to be an OV. Later, once you have your RCVS registration number, log in again and apply for OV status at this stage.

Will I need to book time away from work to attend the OV training as previously?

No, the training is all online and can be studied and examined anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. You may want to book time off work so that you can study without interruption, but this is not compulsory.

Candidates completing the online examination are required to do so in the presence of a Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS) (this can be a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) for overseas students), a Registered Veterinary Nurse (RVN), a doctor or a lawyer, so you will need to coordinate this in advance. See Assessment and accreditation for further information.

(Please note: there will be a Practical Assessment for OCQ(V) - TT.)

Do I need to do anything differently if I work as a locum?

If you work as a locum, you must ensure that you keep the details of the practices where you are working up to date on your Personal Training Dashboard at all times. If you are working in more than one practice at a time, further addresses may be entered in the comments box in the 'Update details' section. If you are signing Animal Health Certificates (AHCs), you should use the address of the practice from which you issue the AHC in the 'Official Veterinarian' section. This must match the information registered on your Personal Training Dashboard.

I want to become a Local Veterinary Inspector (LVI), what do I do? 

This is the correct place to register and train, however the term LVI has been replaced by Official Veterinarian (OV). Please click here to view instructions and information on what you need to do to become an OV.

I can’t log in to the courses. Please can you help?

We recommend that you use Google Chrome, Firefox or Safari as your internet browser for the courses. We strongly advise that you do not use Internet Explorer. You must also have your cookies enabled. If you have checked this and still can’t access your course, please call us on 0330 202 0380.

The practice email address is shared and doesn't work for my registration – what do I do?

It is an APHA requirement that all OVs have a unique email address and can thereby register and gain OV qualifications and authorisation linked to the individual, not a practice. It must be an email address that you check regularly for OV communications. This email address forms part of your unique log in details.

How do I change my details on my registration?

You may amend any of your details by logging in to your Personal Training Dashboard and selecting ‘Update details’ from the left-hand side of the screen. It is important that you do this if you change practice, so that APHA have an up-to-date record to cross check with any certificates that you sign. You may wish to make a note of your old practice in the comments section too.

I am having trouble uploading my signature.

We have provided some guidelines to help, but if you cannot upload your signature please call us on 0330 202 0380 for further support.

Who do I contact to find out about filling in APHA forms?

For any queries relating to exports, OVs should contact the APHA Centre for International Trade, Carlisle (03000 200 301). For advice on completing APHA forms, the OV should contact their local APHA office.

I am a small animal vet and I only want to do Animal Health Certificates (AHCs) for dogs or cats, how do I become an OV?

You will only need to do OCQ(V) - CA (Companion Animals). This qualification covers pet exports and the commercial export of dogs, cats and ferrets. It incorporates elements of OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX applicable to small animal practitioners. It should be noted that the scope of coverage of these elements (e.g. notifiable disease, welfare, export certification and procedures) will be limited to that required for this work.

Please note: if you also want to cover the commercial export of small animals you may require OCQ(V) - SX (Small Animal Exports) instead. This qualification covers work relating to commercial exports of a variety of small animals, including export to/from laboratories, zoos and other establishments under the Balai Directive, in addition to the export of pet animals. As prerequisites to the OCQ(V) - SX, practitioners must first complete OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX – the scope of these qualifications is significantly wider than the OCQ(V) - CA in terms of the key elements of notifiable disease, welfare, export certification and procedures, which reflects the complexity of the scenarios under which this work is undertaken and the commercial nature of the OV work in this area.

What is covered in OCQ(V) - CA?

The OCQ(V) - CA (Companion Animals) relates mainly to pets. It covers:

  • Export of pet dogs, cats, ferrets, small mammals (guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, etc.)
  • Export of pet birds – these are all birds (excluding poultry) that are accompanied by their owner and are not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner
  • Export of pet reptiles travelling with their owner
  • Export of pets from breeding establishments and rescue centres as a commercial exercise
  • Export of more than 5 pets
  • Export can be to the EU or countries outside of the EU

What is covered in OCQ(V) - SX?

The OCQ(V) - SX (Small Animal Exports) is a more commercial qualification. Everything listed above (in OCQ(V) - CA) is included, plus:

  • Commercial export of small laboratory animals, including all primates
  • Commercial export of zoo animals, including primates, carnivores, etc. (except zoo ungulates (hoofed animals), which fall under OCQ(V) - UX)
  • Commercial export of reptiles
  • Zoo birds
  • Bees
  • Exports to the EU or outside of the EU

What is covered in OCQ(V) - AX?

The OCQ(V) - AX (Avian Exports) covers:

  • Hatching eggs – eggs for incubation, laid by poultry
  • Poultry – defined as: fowl, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quail, pigeons, pheasants, partridges and ratites (flightless birds like ostrich and emu), reared or kept in captivity for breeding, the production of meat or eggs for consumption, or for re-stocking supplies of game
  • Captive birds – birds usually kept as a hobby, for pleasure, scientific interest or sport
  • Exports to the EU or outside of the EU

(Please note: although people keep ducks, chickens and geese as pets they are not considered as pets for export certification and are not covered by OCQ(V) - CA.)

What is covered in OCQ(V) - PX?

The OCQ(V) - PX (Product Exports) covers the export of animal products. This includes:

  • Foodstuffs of animal origin
  • Certain live animals for direct human consumption such as mussels
  • Animal by-products such as wool, hides and skins
  • Goods that may have come in contact with animals, such as hay and straw

(Please note: semen and ova are also animal products but are covered in the OCQ(V) - GX (Germinal Products Exports) course.)

If in doubt please contact us on 0330 202 0380 to clarify.

I want to train to test cattle for TB. How soon can I start testing on my own?

The initial training is online. Once you have successfully completed the training and passed the online exam, you then nominate a Supervisor and complete and return your Sam declaration form. Once your Supervisor has accepted the role and APHA have received the completed Sam declaration form, your authorisation for conditional OV status will be processed. When your conditional approval as an OV for OCQ(V) - TT is granted, which can take up to 10 working days, APHA will send you your OV stamp and set up your Sam access. You have up to 4 months from the date you are granted conditional OV status to complete your Practical Assessment and achieve full approval. During this supervisory period you will be allowed to carry out tuberculin testing under the supervision of an experienced member of your veterinary practice OV team. You must test a minimum of 50 animals under ‘direct and continuous’ supervision. When your Supervisor is able to sign you off as competent to test, you may progress to testing under ‘direction’, where an experienced OV is available to consult, but is not necessarily present. This experienced OV does not have to be your nominated Supervisor. For further information about the practical training aspect of the OCQ(V) - TT course, please click here.

I am a conditional OV for OCQ(V) - TT and am testing under direction. An APHA vet audited my testing last week. Does that count as my Practical Assessment?

The APHA may conduct random, unannounced audits at any time. We are pleased to hear that your audit was successful but it does not replace your OCQ(V) - TT Practical Assessment. These are two separate processes. You must still arrange your Practical Assessment with Improve International. Please contact us in good time to book this.

I need to arrange my OCQ(V) - TT Practical Assessment – what is the minimum number of cattle I will need to test during this?

When contacting us to arrange your Practical Assessment, we ask that you suggest tests with a minimum of 30 cattle. An email with further details about booking the Practical Assessment will be sent out to you. 

How do I nominate an invigilator for my exam?

On your Personal Training Dashboard, go to the 'Training details' page for the qualification that you are studying. Scroll down this page to Section 2: 'Online examination'. You then make your nomination by clicking on the blue button on the right ('Nominate invigilator') and filling in the details. Your nominated invigilator will receive an email with a link they must follow to confirm, with their electronic signature, that they are prepared to undertake the role of invigilator. Once this process is complete you will have access to the online exam. You must have your invigilator with you throughout the exam.

Due to the exceptional circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 situation, we recognise that in most cases it is not viable for candidates to be invigilated in person whilst maintaining safe social distancing. Therefore, there is now the option for invigilation to take place via Zoom link. Please click here for information on remote invigilation via screenshare.

Alternatively, you may now register to be remotely invigilated by our partner, ProctorU; a live online proctoring service that is available 24/7. Further information on ProctorU is provided on your Personal Training Dashboard when you come to nominate an invigilator.

Please see the Assessment and accreditation page for more details about the online exam.

I have nominated an invigilator but there has been a change of plan and they are no longer available. Can I nominate someone else?

Yes. If you return to the 'Training details' page on your Personal Training Dashboard you can change your nomination.

I have enrolled on a full course but not had time to complete it. Is there a time limit for access to the material?

No, you will continue to have access to the course material if you decide to complete the qualification.

Where do I find information about revalidation?

Click here to find information about revalidation. FAQs that are specific to revalidation can be found by clicking here.

Will the content of the courses change in light of EU Exit?

The content of the courses is under constant review by the APHA and will be updated when required. In the interim, OVs will be notified of all updates through OV Briefing Notes and technical notices. Further information can be found on the APHA website here.

I am interested in completing a PgC in State Veterinary Medicine. How do I go about this?

Please click here for further information.

I work in Scotland and have heard that the Scottish Government will pay for my training for Essential Skills, Tuberculin Testing and Statutory Surveillance. Who do I contact to arrange this?

Please apply direct to the Scottish Government by emailing animal.health@gov.scot.

Are the OCQ(V)s recognised in Northern Ireland?

No, the OCQ(V) qualifications are not currently recognised in Northern Ireland. Click here for contact details for the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs in Northern Ireland (DAERA), who provide all Official Veterinarian training in Northern Ireland.

I work in an abattoir. Are these OV qualifications relevant to me?

The OCQ(V) qualifications do not cover red meat, white meat or game inspection work. But you will be required to hold the OCQ(V) - PX (Product Exports) if you are certifying any meat or meat products for export. To have the qualification OCQ(V) - PX you will also require the OCQ(V) - ES and OCQ(V) - EX, which are prerequisites to OCQ(V) - PX.

I have been asked to certify the effective disinfection of a fishing rod (or another inanimate object) that is going to Iceland. What qualifications do I need to complete this document?

In order to sign the relevant certificate in this case, you will be required to hold the OCQ(V) - ES and the OCQ(V) - EX. When asked to certify the export of equipment or machinery, it is always best to check the requirements with the Centre for International Trade, Carlisle (03000 200 301).

My OV stamp is damaged or lost. How may I get a replacement?

APHA are responsible for issuing OV stamps. Please contact them at CSCOneHealthOVTeam@apha.gov.uk.

I do not intend to continue with OV work. What should I do with my stamp?

If you no longer need your OV stamp, please return it to the APHA OV Team, APHA Specialist Service Centre, Worcestershire County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP.

Where do I find AHC guidance/an example AHC?

Guidance for the completion of an AHC has been added to the OCQ(V) - CA (Companion Animals) and OCQ(V) - CAr (Companion Animals revalidation) courses.

To access this, you will need to:

  1. Log in to your Personal Training Dashboard
  2. Access your online learning, either by scrolling down to the 'Access online learning' button on your overview page or by clicking through to your CA training details page
  3. Once on Moodle (the online learning platform), scroll down to view your courses
  4. Select OCQ(V) - CA
  5. Go to Module 6
  6. Scroll down to 'Example AHC' and click through the tabs and buttons to view the guidance for each page of the AHC

 

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